Another special guest post: this time Graham Welch of Ready Steady Girls! tells us about the career of French singer Séverine, and shares her Christmas song with us. - Spiked Candy
Sadly, the European girl singers of the 1960s rarely did Christmas songs anywhere near as well as their American counterparts. However, here French chanteuse Séverine gives it her best shot.
The singer had more IDs than a credit card fraudster. She started out life as Josiane Grizeau but became Céline for an EP on the Vogue label in 1967. The release led with 'Tu dis september', but when it failed she was dropped by the label.
A year later producer Georges Aber found her singing - as Robbie Lorr - in the Golf Drouot. The result was a contract, this time with Philips, and a new stage name, Séverine.
Her Christmas gift to us comes in the form of 'Les Enfants qui attendent Noël'. The song is taken from the second EP issued under her new name and was released in 1969. It is based on a melody by Johann Sebastian Bach, with words by Aber and Jacques Revaux.
In 1970 she released the theme to the film Le passager de la pluie, which topped the Japanese charts, but she really hit the big time in Europe the following year, when she won the 1971 Eurovision Song Contest with the beautiful 'Un banc, un arbre, une rue' for Monaco. The song went on to be a hit continent-wide.
At home, she enjoyed further hits with 'Comme un appel' and 'Mon tendre amour' but a legal dispute with Aber in 1973 put paid to her career in France. A parallel one in Germany lasted longer, though a succession of French-themed songs such as 'Ja, der Eiffelturm', 'Olala L'amour' and 'Der Duft von Paris' risked turning her into something of a one-trick pony. Nevertheless, she enjoyed great success, selling some six million records in the early 1970s.
– Graham Welch